Stopping Climate Change

Guest post by Richard S. Courtney

stop_in_the_clouds
There is need for a new policy on climate change to replace the rush to reduce emissions. The attempts at emissions reduction have failed but there is a ‘Climate Change Policy’ that would work.

Climate change is a serious problem. All governments need to address it, and most do.

In the Bronze Age Joseph (with the Technicolour Dreamcoat) told Pharaoh that climate has always changed everywhere and always will. He told Pharaoh to prepare for bad times when in good times, and all sensible governments have adopted that policy since.

But now it is feared that emissions from industry could cause additional climate change by warming the globe. This threatens more sea level rise, droughts, floods, heat waves and much else. So, governments have attempted to reduce the emissions of the warming gases, notably carbon dioxide.

The UN established the Kyoto Protocol which limits the emissions from developed countries until year 2012. But the Kyoto Protocol failed. It has had no detectable effect on the emissions which continue to rise. Now the pressure is on to get a successor to that Protocol for after 2012, and negotiations are being held around the world to decide the new treaty at a conference in Copenhagen in December (CoP15).

But the negotiations have stalled. All industrial activity releases the emissions. Developing countries say they will not limit their emissions, and industrialised countries have problems reducing theirs. China releases more of the emissions than any other country, is industrialising, and says it is entitled to the same emissions per head of population as the US. So, China says it intends to increase its emissions more than four fold. India says the same. The US is having problems adopting a ‘Cap & Trade’ policy that would harm American industries and force industries from America to China. The EU adopted a ‘Cap & Trade’ policy that collapsed and has not affected the EU’s rising emissions. The Australian Parliament has recently rejected a similar policy.

Politicians have been responding to the failure of the Kyoto Protocol by showing they are ‘doing something’. They have adopted pointless and expensive impositions on energy industries, energy supplies and transportation. And the public is paying the large costs of this in their energy bills.

The Copenhagen Conference will provide a decision because it has to, but that decision will have no more effect than the Kyoto Protocol. And this will put more pressure on the politicians to be seen to be ‘doing something’ with further cost and harm to peoples and to industry.

There is as yet no clear evidence that the additional climate change is happening. But environmental groups are pressing the politicians to act “before it is too late”. And politicians are responding because of the fear of dire consequences from the additional climate change.

Politicians have decided how much additional climate change is acceptable, because they have decided that global temperature must not be allowed to rise to 2 degrees Celsius higher than it was at the start of the last century. But they need a method to overcome the urgency which is forcing them to do things and to agree things which do not work.

There is an available solution to the problem. The urgency is because of fear that the effects of the emissions may be irreversible. However, the additional climate change can be reversed, quickly, simply and cheaply. This provides a complete solution to the problems.

There is no need for the Copenhagen Conference to reach a forced, inadequate, and premature agreement on emissions. The Conference needs to decide funding to perfect the methods to reverse the additional climate change if and when that becomes necessary. This decision would give politicians decades of time to conduct their negotiations about what to do to limit the emissions. So, the politicians can agree actions that work instead of adopting things everybody knows do not work.

The solution addresses the cause of the fear of the additional climate change. Every sunbather has noticed it cools when a cloud covers the Sun, and this is because clouds reflect sunlight to cause negative radiative forcing. The fear of the additional climate change is based on an assumption that global temperature is determined by net radiative forcing, and the emissions induce additional positive radiative forcing.

The forcing can be altered in many ways. An increase to cloud cover of a single percent would more than compensate for the warming from a doubling of carbon dioxide in the air. There are several ways to increase cloud cover, for example small amounts of sulphates, dust, salt or water released from scheduled aircraft would trigger additional cloud formation. And the carbon dioxide in the air is very unlikely to increase so much that it doubles.

And there are many other ways to reflect sunlight so it is not absorbed by the ground. Crops could be chosen for reflectivity, roofs could be covered with reflective materials, and tethered balloons could be covered in reflective material.

Each of these options would be very much cheaper than constraining the emissions by 20 per cent for a single year. So, any delay to implementation of emission constraints by use of these options would save a lot of money.

Global temperature has not again reached the high it did in 1998 and has been stable since. But it could start to rise again. If it does then use of one or more of these options could be adopted when global temperature nears 2 degrees Celsius higher than it was at the start of the last century. This would be a cheap and effective counter measure while the needed emission constraints are imposed. Indeed, it would be much cheaper than the emission constraints. It could be started and stopped rapidly, and its effect would be instantaneous (as sunbathers have noticed when a cloud passes in front of the Sun).

Until then there would be no need for expensive ‘seen to be doing something’ actions such as capturing and storing carbon dioxide. Energy and financial policies would not need to be distorted, and developing countries could be allowed to develop unhindered.

Indeed, there would be no need to deploy the counter measures unless and until global temperature rises to near the trigger of 2 degrees C rise.

The various methods for reflecting sunlight need to be developed and perfected. They each have potential benefits and problems which need to be assessed. But if the problems are detectable they need not be significant. For example, the additional cloud cover could be induced over oceans distant from land. This requires much research.

Politicians know they need to be seen to be ‘doing something’ and they would be seen to be doing something worthwhile. Each counter measure experiment and demonstration provides opportunity for media coverage.

Richard S. Courtney
Energy and Environment Consultant

Richard S. Courtney is an independent consultant on matters concerning
energy and the environment. He is a technical advisor to several UK MPs
and mostly-UK MEPs. He has been called as an expert witness by the UK
Parliament’s House of Commons Select Committee on Energy and also House
of Lords Select Committee on the Environment. He is an expert peer
reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and in
November 1997 chaired the Plenary Session of the Climate Conference in
Bonn. In June 2000 he was one of 15 scientists invited from around the
world to give a briefing on climate change at the US Congress in
Washington DC, and he then chaired one of the three briefing sessions.
His achievements have been recognized by The UK’s Royal Society for Arts
and Commerce, PZZK (the management association of Poland’s mining
industry), and The British Association for the Advancement of Science.
Having been the contributing technical editor of CoalTrans
International, he is now on the editorial board of Energy & Environment.
He is a founding member of the European Science and Environment Forum
(ESEF).

h/t to Barry Hearn

About these ads
This entry was posted in Climate_change, Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

109 Responses to Stopping Climate Change

  1. EdB says:

    What is magical about 2 C? What if the earth wants warm up 2C due to natural variation? I am getting images of King Canute wanting to stop the tides.

    I would wait until we actually have proof of a human caused “problem” before I would spend a dime on it. So far I have yet to see a paper that gives me proof. Not only do we not have a grasp on how much warming is “A” in AGW but we do not know what is a “problem” with 1C, 2C warming. For all we know, the Greenland ice sheet could start to grow rapidly as more humid Arctic air causes greater snow fall over Greenland. Please don’t tell me the “models” can predict this.

  2. Mike Bryant says:

    Sorry, Man… They already got you outflanked… didn’t you know the acidic oceans will soon be gobbling up your toes?
    Mike Bryant
    PS I know it’s not a problem… but the people that make money on this BS… have it in the bag to forestall any common sense

  3. John Judge says:

    This is the best idea I have heard in the whole global warming debate. The world may be getting warmer or it may be entering a new ice age; we just don’t know for sure. Let’s quit arguing about which it will be and start developing plans that work for either eventuality. We will all know pretty soon. Above all, let’s keep the politicians out of it.

  4. Douglas DC says:

    Chemtrails! Chemtrails!-this guy must be on something.Why not just leave well enough along and do-nothing…..

  5. rbateman says:

    Where’s Joseph when you need him, and will Pharoah listen to him, or harden his wallet.

  6. savethesharks says:

    Enlightening and reasonable suggestions coming from no less than one of the IPCC’s own!

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  7. cedarhill says:

    It’s interesting that all these schemes require energy. Energy in simply enormous amounts. Yet no one is really developing US energy resources and the rest of the world will be hard pressed to just meet demand from population growth. It would be better to develop strategies to just live with the changes than set off on a fool’s quest for ideas to alter something you’ve not the power to attempt.

  8. Robert M says:

    Richard,

    As long as we are discussing climate change a discussion of how accurately we are measuring the changing climate must be entertained. The facts of the matter are that EVERY dataset that exists of our global climate is potentially flawed. In many cases the scientists in charge of a dataset conceal the methods used to create these datasets. In many cases these scientists are not neutral data gatherers but AGW activists. I has been PROVEN time and time again that errors are being made, whether intentional or as a consequence of prior bias these errors have proven overwhelmingly to create a warm bias in the record. Many local observers around the world have noted that it is not warming in their backyard. Interestingly many of the warming signals that make it into the final product are isolated to areas where there is no one the remark upon said warming. Furthermore the warmies are always busy screaming about the latest warming signal that they have found. If there is more ice in the south, only the north matters not even the fact that there is more ice period matters to those fixated on AGW. The AGW movement is still alive because of the ability of the warmies to create a moving target. No tropospheric hot spot, we have the hockey stick, no hockey stick, melting ice. Ice not melting, well The north is melting, no? Umm, the ice is thinner. Not thinner? Antarctic is warming? NO!!! Gosh darn it the heat is in the pipeline we are sure of it!!!

  9. Robert M says:

    It has been PROVEN, silly me, get on a rant and the typo monsters get you…

  10. Joel Shore says:

    A few quick points on this post:

    (1) I would like to see more evidence to back up the claim that increasing the amount of clouds by 1% would more than compensate for doubling CO2. It seems to me that the increase in albedo by 1% would get you close to canceling the effect of doubling CO2; however, increasing clouds also acts (like greenhouse gases) to decrease the emission of IR radiation…and, for clouds as a whole, this cancels most of the albedo effect. Admittedly, different types of clouds have different effects (low clouds tend to reflect more sunlight and affect the IR less; for high clouds it is the reverse), so the idea would presumably be to increase low clouds. However, my guess is the amount of increase needed might have to be larger…maybe even quite a bit larger…than 1%.

    (2) There are in fact more and more scientific studies being done on such “geoengineering schemes” and they are making it clear that it is more complex than a simple cancellation of effects. For example, I believe the studies suggest that adding sulfate aerosols to compensate for the greenhouse gases would still lead to considerable differences in the hydrological cycle…in particular, potential issues of drought in some areas. This doesn’t mean that such schemes don’t merit further study…but one has to be cautious in suggesting them as a substitute for taking actions to reduce the effects of our greenhouse gas emissions.

    (3) One of the ironies of this discussion is that so-called “skeptics” often seem to endorse these geoengineering schemes as a better alternative to actually decreasing our emissions even though these skeptics are arguing that we know less about climate than we think we do. Why this is ironic is that the amount of knowledge one needs of the climate system to successfully implement a scheme to “swallow the spider to catch the fly” is considerably larger than the amount of knowledge one needs to simply conclude that it is wise to reduce our emissions so that we limit further tampering to the climate system. (And, of course, this doesn’t even address other effects such as the acidification of the oceans.)

  11. sunsettommy says:

    Well I think it is a good idea,for the purpose of getting the lawmakers away from destructive energy/economic policies used to fight the CO2 emissions fears with.To a different direction where they can spend a lot of time discussing the ways of implementing far cheaper methods to promote cooling,that could be activated quickly when the much talked about warming trend of the future reaches a level where Geo-Engineering methods can get into play and cool it down.

  12. Indeed, there would be no need to deploy the counter measures unless and until global temperature rises to near the trigger of 2 degrees C rise.
    A flaw in the scheme is that it will not be clear WHEN the 2C rise has occurred. When there is a single day, or week, or month, or year, or decade, or 30-year ‘climatological mean’?

  13. Jeff L says:

    The base assumption in this paper is wrong – that the goal is to control the climate. What has been seen & proven over the last several years is the REAL goal is increased government control over people. They could care less if the temperature goes up or down, as long as they can stick their hands deep into your pockets.

  14. Kevin Kilty says:

    I’m not optimistic about technical fixes other than holding tight until alternative energy sources are available, if that is even possible. I’m still in my pessimistic mood today, so what I see is an endless list of boogiemen to deal with. The arbitrary two degree C trigger is one, then so will be the loss of some glacier somewhere, then sea level rise, then we shan’t let the oceans decrease in pH by more than 0.2 pH units, then there is the checkered butterfly, and polar bears having to swim long distance, and the loss of permafrost, and on and on ad nauseum. Cooling the Earth may not (likely won’t) fix these other issues, and so we’ll face a litany of special rescue efforts globally. Maybe the real answer is mass therapy for people who feel compelled to micromanage both humanity plus our planet.

  15. Paul Vaughan says:

    Sensible contingency plans cover both cooling & warming.

    Sensible rhetoric about emissions focuses on toxicity (not anthropogenic computer-climate fantasies).

  16. Gene Nemetz says:

    These measures :

    And there are many other ways to reflect sunlight so it is not absorbed by the ground. Crops could be chosen for reflectivity, roofs could be covered with reflective materials, and tethered balloons could be covered in reflective material.

    aren’t going to change global temperatures. People don’t stop ti think about how big the earth is and how small roofs and balloons are in comparison to it—or how little of the earth actually has crops on it.

    As Lord Monckton has said, let’s “have the courage to do nothing”.

  17. Gene Nemetz says:

    Kevin Kilty (19:07:51) :

    Kevin,

    maybe this will work to solve those problems :

    http://blogi.ee/villu/files/2008/02/save_the_planet_kill_yourself.jpg

    (p.s., by the way, it is a joke)

  18. Novoburgo says:

    The best thing that the politicians can do is to admit that this is a hoax of the first order,
    swallow their pride (highly unlikely), and do nothing more (more highly unlikely).

  19. Gene Nemetz says:

    Joel Shore (18:54:58) : I would like to see more evidence

    Since when has your ilk cared about evidence???

  20. Jimmy Haigh says:

    My view is: “if it ain’t broke – don’t fix it”.

  21. 1sky1 says:

    Can’t get past the title on this one! Why would anone want to stop climate change? That’s what makes it interesting.

  22. Gene Nemetz says:

    Novoburgo (19:19:59) : politicians… swallow their pride (highly unlikely), and do nothing more (more highly unlikely).

    Then let’s get new politicians.

  23. philincalifornia says:

    Novoburgo (19:19:59) :
    The best thing that the politicians can do is to admit that this is a hoax of the first order,
    swallow their pride (highly unlikely), and do nothing more (more highly unlikely).
    ———————————–

    Maybe their replacements can ??

  24. Mike Bryant says:

    I’m with Joel… the only sensible thing is to destroy capitalism to make the world safe…

  25. rbateman says:

    Leif Svalgaard (19:03:18) :

    Indeed. Unless you have clear signposts to read telling you whether to zig or zag, you won’t be able to react because you will be caught unprepared.
    Look both ways before crossing the street.

  26. Craigo says:

    Like all good biblical drama’s with tempest and pestilence, have a look at cane toads in Australia. Man’s attempt to bio-engineer a solution to cane beetles has become a classic case of unintended consequence with the toads apparently evolving to increase their spread. Seems like they enjoy the hospitality and the dry / warm Aussie climate.

    http://www.sciencewa.net.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2382%3Afasterstronger-but-doomed-by-arthritis-&Itemid=200074

    http://australianmuseum.net.au/Cane-Toad

    Interestinlgly “At that time, some naturalists and scientists warned of the dangers of liberating Cane Toads in Australia. The protesters included a former New South Wales Government Entomologist, W W Froggatt, and an Australian Museum Curator, Roy Kinghorn. Their protests resulted in a brief moratorium on the release of toads, but releases resumed in 1936.”

    Will we ever take heed of the lessons?

  27. Joel Shore says:

    Jeff L says:

    The base assumption in this paper is wrong – that the goal is to control the climate. What has been seen & proven over the last several years is the REAL goal is increased government control over people.

    So, are you saying this is the united goal of most of the climate science community, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences & analogous bodies in all the other G8+5 nations, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the councils of most major scientific societies like the AGU, the AMS, and the APS? How exactly did they all get together to agree on this strategy?

  28. David Gladstone says:

    Jeff L (19:05:49) :
    The base assumption in this paper is wrong – that the goal is to control the climate. What has been seen & proven over the last several years is the REAL goal is increased government control over people. They could care less if the temperature goes up or down, as long as they can stick their hands deep into your pockets.

    You got that right, Pardner! They are interested in more than our money though, they want to control our behavior in all sorts of ways. The Fed already has our money and gave it to Goldman Sachs and Citi and the banks at Zero percent and they’ll very nicely let someone with only good credit say, around 700, pay 17.50% on that if they want a credit card!

  29. rbateman says:

    1sky1 (19:27:29) :

    Why would anyone want to sit out a volcano? Or dare to spit at a hurricane?
    Same people that would step in front of a truck, thinking it can stop on a dime.
    Only the people that dreamed up the warming hoax want to convince you step in front of the truck.

  30. Smokey says:

    Joel Shore (18:54:58),

    Still a believer that bad ‘ol CO2 is gonna getcha, I see.

    Relax. Read E.M. Smith’s posts demolishing the CO2 warming conjecture. CO2 is the ultimate red herring, intended to distract from the taxman behind the curtain.

    And I note that every alarmist scare has eventually been debunked, every single one: ocean acidification [alarmists never heard of buffering?], disappearing glaciers, vanishing polar ice, warming oceans, rising temperatures, drowning polar bears, mysterious tipping points, worldwide droughts, the disappearing ozone hole, Cap & Trade, rising sea levels, runaway global warming, “consensus”, increasing forest fires, more hurricanes, ‘the debate is over’ [wait, what?? When was the debate??], the UN/IPCC’s scary projections, wind turbines, coral bleaching, postal rate increases, warmth kills. And etc., etc. The alarmist bunkum never ends. And in the end, it’s always debunked.

    By accepting that CO2 is beneficial, not harmful, the scales will fall from your eyes, and you will see that you were worrying about a black cat in your dark bedroom. But when you turn on the light… there’s no cat! And there never was.

  31. Joel Shore says:

    Mike Bryant says:

    I’m with Joel… the only sensible thing is to destroy capitalism to make the world safe…

    Could you please remind me who accuses whom of “alarmism”? Or, have we now defined “alarmism” to mean “alarming climate scenarios backed up by scientific evidence” and to specifically exclude “alarming socioeconomic scenarios backed up by no evidence”?

  32. INGSOC says:

    Sorry, but I felt as though I were reading a grade 10 science essay. Regardless, history shows that the only “triggers” we need worry about are ones that cause ice ages. Fooling around with these sorts of measures seems at best foolhardy; at worst homicidal.

    How about consistently nailing a 5 day forecast first, then moving on to the Dr. Evil stuff?

  33. H.R. says:

    @Kevin Kilty (19:07:51) :

    “[...] Maybe the real answer is mass therapy for people who feel compelled to micromanage both humanity plus our planet.”

    Now that is a practical solution to AGW alarmism! Cheap and effective, eh? It’d cost what; $6-8-10 billion? Problem solved and we can all get on with our lives.

  34. Kevin Kilty says:

    Hey, Gene Nemetz,

    Thanks. You cheered my day!

    Kevin,

  35. Patrick Davis says:

    “Joel Shore (19:47:32) :

    “alarming climate scenarios backed up by scientific evidence””

    Where is the evidence that is not based on a model?

  36. TA says:

    Joel Shore (19:41:26) says: “So, are you saying this is the united goal of most of the climate science community, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences & analogous bodies in all the other G8+5 nations, …? How exactly did they all get together to agree on this strategy?”

    Different people’s actions can appear coordinated without any conspiracy. Most mothers tell their children the three little pigs, but they do not conspire together and agree on any strategy. With climate change, some are true believers and some are opportunists. The true believers could in theory be swayed with evidence, but the opportunists have no interest in the truth. Many scientists now have their careers at stake, which is no small hurdle to cross. Politicians love power and tax money, both of which can be theirs through AGW theory.

  37. Tom in Texas says:

    “How about consistently nailing a 5 day forecast first, then moving on to the Dr. Evil stuff?”

    How difficult could it be to predict the number, strength, track, and landfall of all the hurricanes, for the several month hurricane season? Call me when you can do this, then I’ll listen to your 100 year predictions.

  38. savethesharks says:

    Smokey (19:44:27) : “By accepting that CO2 is beneficial, not harmful, the scales will fall from your eyes, and you will see that you were worrying about a black cat in your dark bedroom. But when you turn on the light… there’s no cat! And there never was.”

    MONEY!

    Give up Joel. What “alarming climate scenarios backed up by scientific evidence” can you prove??

    You can’t. You can just “prove” alarming climate scenarios backed up by failed climate models and their accompanied clergy.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  39. Purakanui says:

    Good analogy, Craigo.
    In New Zealand, early settlers released rabbits for sport and food. But the rabbits bred like, well, rabbits actually and began to compete with sheep for grass.
    No problem; introduce weasels, stoats and ferrets. They’ll fix the rabbits. But the rabbits can run faster than New Zealand’s flightless birds, so the weasels, etc, ate them instead. Now we have weasels, ferrets and stoats and rabbits and a the fabulous bird-life was all but lost. The successes we have had have been hugely expensive feats of dedicated conservation.
    Add deer, goats, wild pigs, possums, rats, wild cats, gorse and wilding pines (to name a few) and you can see the folly of intended and unintended introductions to a fragile ecology.
    I’m concerned that these schemes to ‘geo-engineer’ may go just as badly wrong because we simply don’t know all of their effects and downstream consequences. Because any project big enough to actually change the global climate would have to be huge, everyone would have to share any adverse consequences with the clowns who perpetrated them in the first place.

  40. Carl says:

    My Minnesota Xcel Energy bill that just came says the last billing month (mostly July) was 6 F cooler than the same period last year. So, this raises some questions…

    Since it is based on 30 day average, is that long term weather or short term climate?

    How much additional CO2 can I release to avoid this unwanted, cool, wet Summer in the future?

    (rubs chin, scratches head, and smiles).

  41. anna v says:

    Joel Shore (19:41:26) :

    Jeff L says:

    ” The base assumption in this paper is wrong – that the goal is to control the climate. What has been seen & proven over the last several years is the REAL goal is increased government control over people.”

    So, are you saying this is the united goal of most of the climate science community, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences & analogous bodies in all the other G8+5 nations, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the councils of most major scientific societies like the AGU, the AMS, and the APS? How exactly did they all get together to agree on this strategy?

    Let me give you a simple example of how mass delusions happen, and scientific bodies can join in the delusion, seeing the image of the virgin mary in the clouds too, and finally politicians acting on things.

    In 1981 we had a large earthquake 70 km from Athens, with aftershocks that lasted for a month and it felt as if we were living on a shaking tree. Immediately after that scientific interest from all science fields came to an extreme peak and every scientist studied seismology. A solid, solid state scientist , then a junior professor at the university, expert in piezoelectric phenomena, started studying the telurian currents, currents that appear in the earth due to the pressure changes in fault lines ( presumably). And he came up with a theory and system that he and his team said, predicted earthquakes. There were lectures, presentations, bad use of statistics and correlations, but there was no way, due to the high adrenalin from the shakings, to convince scientists who had never used statistical methods that they were swimming in treacherous waters. The theory persists still, after cornering politically the market of grants for a while, and of course it does not predict earthquakes, otherwise it would be widely known.

    There was no conspiracy. There was a confluence of worry and delusion and politicians and media blowing up the subject because of ignorance and the chicken little syndrome.

    Scientific bodies can be caught in the chicken little syndrome,particularly because scientists are prone to trust scientists from other disciplines . Of course once it gets into the grants and positions and subsidies and pork barrel state and the appetite for taxes is whetted, as AGW has reached now, the momentum is great and I do not see how it can be stopped, except if the Thames freezes over.

  42. Jack Hughes says:

    I vote to do nothing.

  43. Roger Sowell says:

    Well, good gracious and gravy train! Shades of what we heard in the 1960′s about the earth about to freeze over in the next ice age, but don’t worry, children, we have the technology to spread ground-up charcoal all across the snow as it advances!

    Reflective balloons, and white rooftops!

    The reality is that engineers have the answers, should we ever need them. Workable, economic, good solutions to warming the earth if needed, or cooling the earth if that is indicated.

    If water vapor truly gets too high, meaning the warmists of today are correct (and that is a very big if, for those who follow what I write about this), it is very simple to dehumidify the atmosphere as much or as little as needed. It only requires energy, which is abundant and free from windmills, waves, and solar. Intermittency issues will not at all be a problem for a dehumidifier system.

    We can also extract out CO2 from the air, and have that concentration be anything we choose. Again, all it takes is energy. We can scrub CO2 out of coal-fired power plant smokestacks, and the same for natural gas fired smokestacks, again it only takes energy.

    We can also create and eject benign aerosols into the air, among other things.

    We can also create artificial hurricanes, and dissipate vast amounts of heat in just a few days. I wouldn’t recommend this one, though, as there would be substantial legal liability for any damage and loss of life.

    Hey, he proposed ridiculous ideas. Why can’t I?

  44. james allison says:

    Joel Shore (19:41:26) says: “So, are you saying this is the united goal of most of the climate science community, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences & analogous bodies in all the other G8+5 nations, …? How exactly did they all get together to agree on this strategy?”

    Follow the money trail Joel.

  45. savethesharks says:

    Anna V “There was no conspiracy. There was a confluence of worry and delusion and politicians and media blowing up the subject because of ignorance and the chicken little syndrome. Scientific bodies can be caught in the chicken little syndrome,particularly because scientists are prone to trust scientists from other disciplines . Of course once it gets into the grants and positions and subsidies and pork barrel state and the appetite for taxes is whetted, as AGW has reached now, the momentum is great and I do not see how it can be stopped, except if the Thames freezes over.”

    Eloquently said. Beyond eloquent, actually.

    And its unfortunate that so many a brilliant singular scientist is caught up in the system of mass delusion, which may start with a small error but then cascades into one error after the next.

    Before long, the consensus, like the failed climate models, end up GRANDLY askew….removed from all gravity, all truth, all reasoning…powered by the special interests and politicians that supply all the funding.

    This phenomenon of the AGW will go down in the annals of history as not being a major advancement for science, or humankind, but as a psychological study of mass delusion, powered by big $$$ interests.

    We went from Dick Cheney’s Haliburton…to Al Gore’s company that stands to make mucho dinero on cap and trade.

    Meanwhile….the world languishes. Have we not learned anything?

    Thankfully…many bright scientists and engineers….[many on here] and even some at the IPCC…are saying HELL NO….and trying to reverse that trend.

    Godspeed.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  46. sunsettommy says:

    I am disappointed with the replies here,because he is not advocating that we support stopping climate change.Here is the very first paragraph of his post,that appears to be forgotten:

    “There is need for a new policy on climate change to replace the rush to reduce emissions. The attempts at emissions reduction have failed but there is a ‘Climate Change Policy’ that would work.”

    and,

    “Politicians have been responding to the failure of the Kyoto Protocol by showing they are ‘doing something’. They have adopted pointless and expensive impositions on energy industries, energy supplies and transportation. And the public is paying the large costs of this in their energy bills.”

    and one more,

    “There is an available solution to the problem. The urgency is because of fear that the effects of the emissions may be irreversible. However, the additional climate change can be reversed, quickly, simply and cheaply. This provides a complete solution to the problems.

    There is no need for the Copenhagen Conference to reach a forced, inadequate, and premature agreement on emissions. The Conference needs to decide funding to perfect the methods to reverse the additional climate change if and when that becomes necessary. This decision would give politicians decades of time to conduct their negotiations about what to do to limit the emissions. So, the politicians can agree actions that work instead of adopting things everybody knows do not work.”

    I believe that Richard is trying to point out that it is possible for the lawmakers to drop the failed emission control schemes and work on something far cheaper and and much less damaging to economies of the world.This would then have them back off and consider the alternatives that can take a few years to discuss and decide,while the worlds climate continues to cool down,thus stopping the mad rush “to do something to fight climate change” anyway.

    It is an attempt to get the lawmakers go in a new direction AWAY from Emission controls proposals,that have failed miserably,onto something simpler and cheaper to reduce the much talked about PROJECTED warming trend of at least 1.5C to year 2100.

    I for one support the idea of ending the mad rush to do something about CO2 emissions,by trying something new and better way to deal with the PROJECTED warming of the future.A way out for the lawmakers from having to rush legislation to show they are doing something about it,to one where they can slow down and work on much more thought out policies to deal with their fear of future warming.

    The irrational rush to do something that has repeatedly failed with expensive economic cost needs to end,and Richard has suggested a way out with his guest post.

  47. Mike McMillan says:

    Rather than have scheduled aircraft release aerosols to reflect the sunlight, we could take the scrubbers off our coal power plants. Cheaper electricity, reduced global warming, almost as many jobs saved as the current President has saved – everyone’s a winner.

    As for knowing when we’ve reached the 2°C mark, that’s what GISS is for. Our government is on top of the problem, folks, and we’ll all have green jobs real soon now.

  48. Claude Harvey says:

    I see hundreds of millions of reflective parasols (I recommend a parabolic configuration). No one allowed outside without their parasol! We’d have to be careful because China alone could reflect enough energy to fry the moon if they pointed all their parasols in that direction. Once global temperature has dropped to levels satisfactory to the IPCC, I envision a U.N. Parasol Commission the function of which would be world-wide parasol modulation; in recognition of all his fine work, I nominate Dr. James Hansen to head this commission with the title of “Parasol Grand Poo Bah”.

  49. Gene Nemetz says:

    james allison (21:08:57) :

    People of Joels ilk use these same worn out arguments.

    I see he didn’t mention the APS this time. ;-)

  50. savethesharks says:

    sunsettommy (21:26:55) :

    Can you please condense into one sentence your position please? Your post above is circular and hard to follow.

    Chris
    Norfolk, VA, USA

  51. davidc says:

    Another example for Joel is the medicalization of any departure from normality. No need to actually talk about it, once it gets up momentum it’s obvious to many that they can make money by jumping on the bandwagon.

  52. Jerker Andersson says:

    And again natural causes to temperature rise during the first half of last century is blamed on CO2.

    He says that we must prevent the temperature from rising more than 2C above the start of last century. But why? During the first half of last century the CO2 had not risen enough to have any significant effect on temperatures. 0,4C during the first half was not caused by CO2. Even IPCC says that CO2 increase during first half of 20th century was not high enough to affect tempertures in any significant way.

    So if any temperature rise should be prevented it should be the rise that was caused by humans from the last half of 20th century, if there are any significant AGW at all.

  53. AnonyMoose says:

    I think that on the coldest day of the year we need to hold hearings investigating the advantages of 4C.

  54. Mike D. says:

    Why is a 2°C global temp rise a problem? Warmer is better.

    Maybe the governments of the world should work on protecting human rights and liberties instead of central planning for a non-solution to a non-problem.

    I know, I know, you don’t need to remind me. Authoritarians require mass hysteria in order to control people, land, industry, wealth, and everything. If the masses are not in a tizzy about something, then they won’t need high-paid control freaks to order them around. Everybody will just go about their private business and won’t obey orders from on high.

    Scientists on the public dole will not get paid if there is no pending doom to study. Barges filled with money will not be dumped on their doorsteps. I feel their pain; I really do.

    But all things considered, longer growing seasons, more rain, more biological productivity, warmer winters, etc. are more to my liking than the opposite. I see no need to chill the planet. Another Ice Age glaciation will be upon us soon enough. Let’s enjoy the warmth while we have it.

  55. Ed says:

    Jack Hughes (21:01:58) :

    “I vote to do nothing.”

    I agree. Let’s wait 10yrs, observe and figure this beast out. The last 10yrs sure haven’t been anything to panic about…

    Ed

    Santa: PLEASE bring me plenty of Snow this year!

  56. John Egan says:

    Yikes!
    Let’s just make things worse.
    Nothing like a pair of sunglasses to protect you from a nuke test.

    I, for one, am not in favor of releasing sulfates as a remedy for global warming.
    Humans have had a long history of just digging a deeper hole.

    Examples?
    Deforestation of the Mediterranean.
    The Mayan collapse.
    Salinization of almost every irrigation project.
    Levees on the Lower Mississippi.

    I would be far more inclined to change our behavior –
    i.e. reduce carbon emissions gradually –
    And adjuct to the impacts of warming –
    Than try to add most eye of newt to the witches brew.

  57. John Wright says:

    Paul Vaughan (19:08:13) :
    “Sensible contingency plans cover both cooling & warming.

    Sensible rhetoric about emissions focuses on toxicity (not anthropogenic computer-climate fantasies).”

    Agree.

  58. sunsettommy says:

    savethesharks,

    Would this suffice?

    “I believe that Richard is trying to point out that it is possible for the lawmakers to drop the failed emission control schemes and work on something far cheaper and and much less damaging to economies of the world.This would then have them back off and consider the alternatives that can take a few years to discuss and decide,while the worlds climate continues to cool down,thus stopping the mad rush “to do something to fight climate change” anyway.”

  59. Highlander says:

    The remarks were:
    ———-
    cedarhill (18:44:30) :
    It’s interesting that all these schemes require energy. Energy in simply enormous amounts. Yet no one is really developing US energy resources and the rest of the world will be hard pressed to just meet demand from population growth. It would be better to develop strategies to just live with the changes than set off on a fool’s quest for ideas to alter something you’ve not the power to attempt.
    ———-
    Agreed!
    .
    But don’t expect the fools to listen.

  60. NS says:

    Too many great comments!

    Mike Bryant (19:37:15) :
    I’m with Joel… the only sensible thing is to destroy capitalism to make the world safe…

    INGSOC (19:48:28) :
    How about consistently nailing a 5 day forecast first, then moving on to the Dr. Evil stuff?

    @Kevin Kilty (19:07:51) :
    “[...] Maybe the real answer is mass therapy for people who feel compelled to micromanage both humanity plus our planet.”

    Let me just say to the gov advisors in all seriousness- please dont do it. Don’t try and geo-engineer the planet when you just dont know what you’re doing – it scares me it really does. I can run from your stupid gov and stupid taxes but if you mess-up the atmosphere no-one can run.
    And BTW, cloud seeding is a temporary effect and will not help. Your reflective roofs policy will not help.
    This is more of a reflection on the lamentable state of education in the UK and the ridiculousness of the current “government” there.

  61. Tenuc says:

    Dissapointing shallow article from such an apparently well qualified climate specialist. The AGW hypothesis has been falsified as the CO2 level is driven by temperature, not the other way round.

    However, climate is always changing and we do need to invest to mitigate the effects of this change on humanity. I don’t think tampering with nature is ever a good idea.

  62. Mike Bryant says:

    This article is all well and good, but don’t underestimate the government’s wont to throw money at engineering schemes as well. What difference does it make if we are taxed into submission to stop emissions, or to actively engineer earth’s temperature? I have a feeling the smart money will cozy up to Uncle Sam either way. Do nothing is the correct approach, all others lead to empty wallets. I, for one, would like to see a wall erected around D. C. Send all the politicians home for a year or ten, and then we can start having interviews to hire a twentieth of them back again.
    Mike

  63. timetochooseagain says:

    “he fear of the additional climate change is based on an assumption that global temperature is determined by net radiative forcing, and the emissions induce additional positive radiative forcing.”

    Well Richard, I have to disagree. The fear is not so much of the “forcing” as the response. Politicians are listening to scientists who tell them that the response to the “forcing” will be terribly large, catastrophic even. The “response” is the sensitivity. And if it is small, then there is no need for alarm. Well, we can assess the sensitivity now and the recent data analyses have been indicating that it is indeed the case that the response is small. The problem is that politicians have gotten themselves so worked up into a frenzy-and their constituents in the process-that there is no derailing the train with cold hard facts….So I reluctantly agree that there may be a need to come up with an “out” for the pols…

  64. Richard Heg says:

    “And there are many other ways to reflect sunlight so it is not absorbed by the ground. Crops could be chosen for reflectivity, roofs could be covered with reflective materials, and tethered balloons could be covered in reflective material.”
    I wonder if you were to take a survey of environmentalists how many of them would know that trees can contribute to global warming because of their albedo as referenced to in this current new scientist article.

    http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2009/08/trees-are-going-up-in-the-worl.html
    “Assuming the trees continue to expand their territories upwards, it’ll be interesting to see what effect they might have on albedo; that is, how reflective the ground is. Trees are pretty dark, so tree coverage generally leads to a low albedo, and a tendency to absorb more warmth ”

    Then again over at science daily they are telling us that removing trees caused global warming.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090817073502.htm
    “Massive burning of forests for agriculture thousands of years ago may have increased atmospheric carbon dioxide enough to alter global climate and usher in a warming trend that continues today, according to a new study that appears online Aug. 17 in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews.”

    I am very happy to know that the science is settled.

  65. stephen.richards says:

    IMO, This is the sort of lose, unconnected thinking that has brought us to this point in time where economies are on the verge of being damaged and huge resources spent to control something that is not controlable.

  66. DaveF says:

    I think it’s significant that Richard Courtney has said “Global temperature has not reached the high it did in 1998, and has been stable since. But it could start to rise again.” All we’ve heard for years is that the temperature WILL rise again and that the last few years are just a statistical blip. Maybe some people are beginning to get second thoughts.

  67. justinert says:

    I take issue with Richard Courtney’s post in its entirety. Fittingly his Sunday school Pharaoh analogy did set the precedent for a surprisingly childish article:

    A typical spin-start?
    “Climate change is a serious problem. All governments need to address it…” Immediately, the anthropogeic global warming theory debate is phrased as “Climate change”, placed within the goalposts of being a “serious problem” and deemed that goverments ultimately address climate – not scientists.

    The additional climate change?
    “There is as yet no clear evidence that the additional climate change is happening…” And:
    “…Politicians have decided how much additional climate change is acceptable…” And:
    “…However, the additional climate change can be reversed…“ And:
    “…the cause of the fear of the additional climate change…”
    What on earth is “additional climate change?” His first mention of this phenomena infers we already know – surely not anthropogenic, as that would be a monumnetal admittance? Additional to what? Normal climate change with some extra “additional” on top? And so we now have:

    Fear of additional (anthropogenic?) climate change?
    “…the fear of dire consequences from the additional climate change.” And:
    “…because of fear that the effects of the emissions may be irreversible…” And:
    “…the cause of the fear of the additional climate change…”
    Using fear and catastrophism as tools to shape public opinion in support of the funding for measures to counteract an imagined additional climate change, of which he readily accepts that there is no clear evidence:
    “There is as yet no clear evidence that the additional climate change is happening…” (!)

    But we still need some (less) of your money for daft ideas.
    By twisting the warmist position into one which endorses geo-engineering above (what he now accepts as inadequate) emissions trading, he has postulated another excuse for the continued funding of warmist pseudo-science, and the burgeoning bureacracy required to support it:
    “The Conference needs to decide funding to perfect the methods to reverse the additional climate change if and when that becomes necessary…” And:
    “…a cheap and effective counter measure while the needed emission constraints are imposed…” And:
    “much cheaper than the emission constraints…” And:
    “much cheaper than constraining the emissions by 20 per cent for a single year…”
    And what feat of human endeavour to save the planet now? An increase in cloud cover and sunlight reflection! And how? “…roofs could be covered with reflective materials, and tethered balloons…”. Echoes of Steven Chu’s white paint Star Trek reasoning abound. But don’t worry because this:
    “…would give politicians decades of time to conduct their negotiations…” to spend your (our) money.

    Utterly fallacious yet betraying the truth
    Not only one of the best examples in the art of deploying fallacious arguments in support of AGW that I have seen, but also – paradoxically – a quite conciliatory piece, given that the only way we can logically interpret the phrase “additional climate change” is as anthropogenic, and also that his description of any possible Kyoto based CO2 emissions policies (cap and trade) endorsed at Copenhagen he accepts would be futile as a mechanism for global temperature conrol – as if that in itself isn’t utterly preposterous:
    “no need for the Copenhagen Conference to reach a forced, inadequate, and premature agreement…” And:
    “But the Kyoto Protocol failed. It has had no detectable effect on the emissions which continue to rise…” And:
    “…failure of the Kyoto Protocol … adopted pointless and expensive impositions…”
    These are the words of an advocate exposed. A sad but true testimony of the Lysenkoism in the pro-AGW camp.

  68. Richard Heg says:

    “Joel Shore (19:41:26) :

    Jeff L says:

    The base assumption in this paper is wrong – that the goal is to control the climate. What has been seen & proven over the last several years is the REAL goal is increased government control over people.

    So, are you saying this is the united goal of most of the climate science community, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences & analogous bodies in all the other G8+5 nations, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the councils of most major scientific societies like the AGU, the AMS, and the APS? How exactly did they all get together to agree on this strategy?”

    How did all the banks, builders, investors, traders, regulators, government’s, to name but a few get together to agree on creating a property bubble?
    How exactly does everybody get together and decide on what is socially acceptable or that a certain hair style is in fashion?

  69. Alan the Brit says:

    I think Sunsettommy hit the nail here. From my all too brief converstaions with Richard Courtney via Facebook, he is one of the “good guys”, he has identified a problem the politicans have. I suspect like he that many politicians realise that there isn’t a probelm, but the fanatical green nazis are poking them with sharp objects (well some of ours have but you colonials may have to go thro a tad more pain first). Now, at the risk of being snipped, the pro-AGW politicos & their hangers-on who haven’t got an ounce of common sense among them, (& I won’t rant about how they really are, I really have a soft spot for all of them – it’s a bog on Dartmoor!) the little darlings have played with their buckets & spades for so long that they have dug themselves into the biggest dammned hole on the planet, out from which they cannot climb without becoming the laughing stock they truly are. Therefore they need a rope ladder, & this is what Richard is giving them in the form of geo-engineering solutions. They can then be seen to do “something” about CC, but of course they can actually do Sweet Fanny Adams. Yes it may be expensive, but not cost the trillions of dollars (US/Can/Aust/HK, etc), pounds, euros, yen, krugerands, rupees, that it would otherwise cost developed western economies.

    The only issue I have is that by creating a solution to a non-problem (The UK government is first class at this), one runs the risk of creating a problem for which one has no solution, e.g. cooling the planet then sending us into what may be a premature ice-age for which we are wholly unprepared. After all am I not correct in thinking that the IPCC has claimed that there will be 50k years of interglacial with no scientific evidence to support such a claim? – no change there then! Then again, should man be playing “God” in this way, but that’s a whole different can of worms?

  70. Alan the Brit says:

    Sunsettommy has hit the nail on the head here. From my all too brief conversations with Richard S. Courtney via Facebook, he has identifed a problem the politicians have. I believe he is one of the good guys here. When the dust settles eventually, politicians will realise their folly that they have played with their buckets & spades for too long, & dug themselves into one heck of a hole out from which they cannot climb, without looking rather foolish but then again that’s never stopped them before. (I have a soft-spot for them all really – it’s a bog on Dartmoor!) Richard has offered them a ladder to climb back up in the form of geo-engineering. This way they can be seen to be doing something, yet they will do Sweet Fanny Adams in reallity (if they know what reallity is).

    One proviso, if this is mishandled in some way, we may end up providing a solution to a non-problem that leads to a real problem for which we have no solution, i.e. causing global cooling which drags us into a premature ice-age. In our feeble attempts at playing God we could really screw things up in the process, the very thing we’ve been accused of in the first place. I have a real problem with enviromentalists (empahsis on the last 3 syllables) who think that we have the power to switch climate at the flick of a switch! Anyway if it happened the UK Marxist Greens will be pleased for the polar bears & penguins, but the Marxist Socialists will be upset because 2 million people freeze to death – unemployed!

  71. Geoff Sherrington says:

    Joel Shore (18:54:58) :

    You assert “3) One of the ironies of this discussion is that so-called “skeptics” often seem to endorse these geoengineering schemes as a better alternative to actually decreasing our emissions even though these skeptics are arguing that we know less about climate than we think we do.”

    You need proof. In a big way. You are just soooo wrong.

  72. Curiousgeorge says:

    @ Richard S Courtney (23:42:02) : ( Carryover from the previous thread )

    Curiousgeorge:

    Thankyou for your advise and attempted help.

    You say:
    “To be effective an argument must be presented to the target audience – those whose behavior or attitude you wish to change – and in a manner, venue, and format that they will be inclined to absorb. It does no good, for example, for me to lecture someone on their failure to appreciate my viewpoint; which is what I see a lot of lately from both sides.”

    I very strongly agree.

    JunkScience intends to circulate the matter to journal Editors.

    But if one cannot get one’s own side on-board then there is no hope with the opposition.

    I have been plugging this for years but it has been ignored until recently. I think there are two reasons for the recent interest. Copenhagen is imminent, and the recent success in Australia has demonstratd that direct involvement in the political process can benefit the climate realist cause.

    However, only a few hours ago I obtained an email from aclimate realist that said:
    “I would think many alarmists would be negative to climate control qua
    geo engineering.
    Besides, isn’t it tantamont to admitting the AGW or something akin to
    it is “real” or authentic? (”If and when …”)
    Bunk is bunk, and encouagement to consider “doing something” to
    prevent the consequences of bunk to me is pointless.
    But I do understand your point as something akin to “buying time ’till
    the public forgets” -
    … I’m lukewarm. If there are no ghosts, we shouldn’t invent
    measures to “counteract” them.”

    I replied saying:
    “There may be no ghosts but there are dragons; i.e. C&T, CCS, windfarms, etc.
    You may be “lukewarm” but you will get burned like the rest of us when the dragons breath on you. You can say “there are are no ghosts” as I do, but I want to slay the dragons, too. People will forget their fear of the ghosts given time.”

    Richard

    Providing the policy makers with a “face-saving” option as you suggested in your piece may prove helpful, but I think would require an unbearable degree of cooperation from the opposition. I can’t picture Al Gore, for example, surrendering his position; he’s much too invested in it (emotionally as well as financially ).

    Your reply regarding “ghosts” and “dragons” is well put, but I think also is part of the problem in that there are many “dragons” some of whom amount to nothing more than distractions. Which dragon to slay is the object of much discussion among those “on one’s own side”, as everyone seems to have a favorite dragon. As has been noted in my part of the world: “When you’re up to your ass in alligators, it’s difficult to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp” .

    Good luck in your endeavor. Will you be attending Copenhagen?

  73. jtom says:

    To Joel Shore:

    Look at the history of AIDS research and politics in the US to see an example of how politicians, researchers, special interest groups, and the media can form an unspoken alliance to further each one’s own goals. They ALL knew the research showed that sexual transmission to heterosexual men was extrememly unlikely, but fostered an environment which led people like Oprah in 1987 saying things like, “‘By 1990, one in five heterosexuals will be dead from AIDS.” Politicians got more influence over people, researchers got funded, special interest groups got more public monies directed to research they desired, and the media sold more newspapers and had increased viewer ratings.

    Now follow the money with AGW.

  74. Jeff L says:

    For the benefit of Joel Shore (18:54:58) :

    - If the governments of the world are truly so worried about CO2, then why do they generally refuse to even consider Nuclear power? – which replaces our most carbon intensive fuel (coal) with a fuel that has zero carbon emissions. Why? Because there is nothing it in for them.

    - If the government is so worried about CO2 & not about taking money from it’s constituents, then why don’t they follow Jim Hansen’s advise for a revenue neutral scheme ? – it would have the same net effect as cap-n-trade. Answer – Because there is nothing in it for them.

    Politicians are opportunists of the 1st order. And Wall Street is too. And they both stand to benefit hugely.

    I could go on & on with more examples but I have to go to work – so others please fill in.

    The irony here is that this will be the most regressive tax ever placed on a population & will have been done by the liberals.

  75. Ron de Haan says:

    Joel Shore (19:41:26) :

    Jeff L says:

    The base assumption in this paper is wrong – that the goal is to control the climate. What has been seen & proven over the last several years is the REAL goal is increased government control over people.

    “So, are you saying this is the united goal of most of the climate science community, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences & analogous bodies in all the other G8+5 nations, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the councils of most major scientific societies like the AGU, the AMS, and the APS? How exactly did they all get together to agree on this strategy?”

    Very simple answer Joel, because it is a carefully organized conspiracy.

  76. Ron de Haan says:

    Alan the Brit (03:37:46) :

    “Sunsettommy has hit the nail on the head here. From my all too brief conversations with Richard S. Courtney via Facebook, he has identifed a problem the politicians have. I believe he is one of the good guys here. When the dust settles eventually, politicians will realise their folly that they have played with their buckets & spades for too long, & dug themselves into one heck of a hole out from which they cannot climb, without looking rather foolish but then again that’s never stopped them before. (I have a soft-spot for them all really – it’s a bog on Dartmoor!) Richard has offered them a ladder to climb back up in the form of geo-engineering. This way they can be seen to be doing something, yet they will do Sweet Fanny Adams in reallity (if they know what reallity is).

    One proviso, if this is mishandled in some way, we may end up providing a solution to a non-problem that leads to a real problem for which we have no solution, i.e. causing global cooling which drags us into a premature ice-age. In our feeble attempts at playing God we could really screw things up in the process, the very thing we’ve been accused of in the first place. I have a real problem with enviromentalists (empahsis on the last 3 syllables) who think that we have the power to switch climate at the flick of a switch! Anyway if it happened the UK Marxist Greens will be pleased for the polar bears & penguins, but the Marxist Socialists will be upset because 2 million people freeze to death – unemployed!”

    Alan, as I have understood the scam correctly, the initiators have an Anglo-Dutch background.
    It’s the Third World that is going to pay the price in human casualties.
    We pay with our assets and our freedom.

    It’s a scam that can backfire easily because other powers have a different agenda.

    Impossible to convince our stupid and irresponsible politicians if you accept Climate Change to be a serious problem.

  77. Alan the Brit says:

    Sorry about the double post fellas – sticky fingers then lost the original somewhere in the ether!

    AtB

  78. Ron de Haan says:

    The only way to stop the AGW/Climate Change madness is to prevent CO2 legislation in the USA. Without the USA Copenhagen is dead.
    For this the current political establishment has to go.

    Fortunately opposition is building:
    http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com/2009/08/watch-for-signs.html

  79. Bruce Cobb says:

    This is a bad idea, based on the false premise that climate change is a “big problem”, or at least that warming is. Cooling, on the order of another LIA certainly could pose big challenges for mankind. Yes, I understand the rationale of offering the politicians an “out”. Voting them out instead is a far preferable option, and, given people’s mood lately, is doable.
    I doubt they would go for it anyway. They would simply say something like “we’re very glad that you “skeptics” finally get that there is a problem with our climate, though we may not agree on what’s causing it. There may be a place for geoengineering, and that is something certainly worth exploring. However, in the mean time, in order to avert climate catastrophe we still need to cut our C02 emissions immediately, particularly the Western countries”.
    Geoengineering is crazy stuff anyway, with very likely unintended, and perhaps even dangerous consequences.

  80. sunsettommy says:

    I think some of you here are still misunderstanding what Richard is trying to do here.He specifically writes at my forum “I am firmly convinced that dangerous AGW is not a problem and cannot become one. ”

    He has posted comments at my forum and at Junkscience forum,making it clear that he wants the lawmakers to stop passing emission controls that are damaging the economies and at great cost to the consumers,to something else where the damage is much less,to provide a way out for the politicians who have become stuck on the emissions reductions proposals bandwagon that is not working and cause great harm.

    Here is what Richard wrote in reply to a comment of mine:

    “Friends:

    In retrospect, I think I need to add a point of clarification to my above post.

    Sunsettommy is right when he says my main reason for proposing this policy is:

    “I think his main goal is to have the empty suits get away from the cap and trade and other ruinous economic proposals, to talk about Geo-engineering, as a way out of a hole they stupidly put themselves in.”

    Richard”

    http://www.politicaldivide.info/globalwarmingskeptics.info/forums/index.php?topic=183.msg1272#msg1272

    Here I will post a link to my forum to a thread Richard started concerning this very topic.There you can read for yourself what Richard is trying to tell us there,what he envisions:

    http://www.politicaldivide.info/globalwarmingskeptics.info/forums/index.php?topic=183.

    Please try to understand where he is coming from.

  81. Colin Porter says:

    Joel Shore 18.54.58

    “ One of the ironies of this discussion is that so-called “skeptics” often seem to endorse these geoengineering schemes as a better alternative to actually decreasing our emissions even though these skeptics are arguing that we know less about climate than we think we do. Why this is ironic is that the amount of knowledge one needs of the climate system to successfully implement a scheme to “swallow the spider to catch the fly” is considerably larger than the amount of knowledge one needs to simply conclude that it is wise to reduce our emissions so that we limit further tampering to the climate system. (And, of course, this doesn’t even address other effects such as the acidification of the oceans.)”

    I think you misunderstand the motivations of the “so called skeptics” as you so politely call us. The fact is that any policy which offers an alternative to the destruction of our society as we know it has to be far more palatable than what is being called for by our various nieve or corrupt governments. We also know that the excessive warming will never happen anyway and so don’t have to consider the consequences of any negative environmental impacts.

    The climate scientists can have no argument with the proposals on the basis that they have already effectively suggested such remedies. They suggested that the reason for the cooling in the 60s-70s was due to aerosol emissions from power stations and we all know that that nasty chemical hole which mysteriously exists only at the south pole, presumably from penguins sniffing halocarbon refrigerants, is preventing the antarctic ice sheet from melting because that hole is sucking all the heat out. So if the climatologists are correct about their fears on anthropogenic warming, we can safely assume they are also correct on their theories of the reasons for observed cooling where it occurs and we can rest in the knowledge that the planet will be saved at the eleventh hour.

    Which only leaves the greens to persuade and that is the biggest hurdle of all. With their disproportionate influence on our politicians, it means that while the proposal from Richard S Courtney is an excellent one, it will never get off the ground.

    Colin Porter

  82. P Walker says:

    I agree with sunsettommy – Mr. Courtney has posted here before and I never thought his posts were alarmist . It is encouraging that one in Richard’s position would take such a stance in the first place . That he offers an alternative , face saving out for climate “scientologists” and politicians is decent of him .
    Unfortunately , it may never come to that . An alternative to Waxman/Markey was offered in the House – essentially a “Manhatten Project” for climate change which would have involved a long term study of climate and ways of dealing with it , if necessary – was shot down .
    Our real hope is to get across to more people like Richard Courtney before it it too late .

  83. jlc says:

    I’m with INGSOC. This is junior high essay standard. Shallow, ambivalent and not at all “robust”.

    It sort of implies that CC is bad without saying why. It sort of implies that human acticity is contributing to CC without estimating magnitude or mechanism.

    On the other hand, its very wishy-washiness may give it some influence.

    Ojala!

  84. Alan the Brit says:

    Ron de Haan:-)

    Couldn’t agree more!

    AtB

  85. Joel Shore says:

    Mike McMillan says:

    Rather than have scheduled aircraft release aerosols to reflect the sunlight, we could take the scrubbers off our coal power plants. Cheaper electricity, reduced global warming, almost as many jobs saved as the current President has saved – everyone’s a winner.

    Except for those who actually like to breath…and don’t like acid rain. (In fact, I wasn’t sure if you were being serious or not here.) Also, since CO2 accumulates in the atmosphere but aerosols in the troposphere rain-out pretty quickly, one would have to keep increasing the emissions of the aerosols.

    In the stratosphere, the aerosols can stay around longer (and cause less serious pollutuion effects), which is why the geoengineering schemes contemplate injecting them fairly high in the atmosphere.

    Colin Porter says:

    So if the climatologists are correct about their fears on anthropogenic warming, we can safely assume they are also correct on their theories of the reasons for observed cooling where it occurs and we can rest in the knowledge that the planet will be saved at the eleventh hour.

    Except, as I noted, the effect of aerosols is not an exact cancellation of the effects of GHGs. Furthermore, as I noted, one has to have a much better knowledge of the details to play this sort of game than one does to simply play the game of perturbing the climate system less by reducing our GHG emissions.

    And, in fact, the amount of cooling…or even radiative forcing… that aerosols cause is in fact a lot more difficult to calculate than the warming due to GHGs (whose radiative forcing can be estimated to about 10% precision). This is in fact the main reason why the global climate behavior during the last several decades (or even the whole instrumental record since the mid 1800s) does not provide a very good constraint on climate sensitivity, which is better constrained by other empirical data. (However, I think the estimates for radiative forcing for aerosols is better constrained when they are in the stratosphere than the troposphere since the indirect effects that they have on clouds wouldn’t be an issue there.)

  86. Joel Shore says:

    Jeff L says:

    - If the governments of the world are truly so worried about CO2, then why do they generally refuse to even consider Nuclear power? – which replaces our most carbon intensive fuel (coal) with a fuel that has zero carbon emissions. Why? Because there is nothing it in for them.

    Well, it depends what governments you are talking about. I think a lot are in fact considering it. However, what some people seem to propose is massive subsidies for nuclear (or maybe just having the government massively invest in such plants). To me, that doesn’t seem justified. Given that nuclear is a relatively-mature technology and that it does have some very real potential problems, it seems better to me to just increase the cost of energy from fossil fuels so that their price better reflects their real costs (i.e., includes the externalities) and then if nuclear can better compete in such a market, then so be it. However, I don’t see the argument for advantaging nuclear power over other solutions, like alternative energy (including many not-yet-mature technologies that still haven’t achieved their full potential ecomnomies-of-scale and thus have a greater justification for some subsidization) and energy efficiency technologies.

    - If the government is so worried about CO2 & not about taking money from it’s constituents, then why don’t they follow Jim Hansen’s advise for a revenue neutral scheme ? – it would have the same net effect as cap-n-trade. Answer – Because there is nothing in it for them.

    Well, I think that is a fair question. And, it is unfortunately true that political realities do tend to prevent the optimal solutions from being implemented.

    The irony here is that this will be the most regressive tax ever placed on a population & will have been done by the liberals.

    Actually, whether it is regressive or progressive or somewhere in between depends strongly on the details of how it is implemented. I have not seen a study that shows exactly what the consequences are for the bill as it finally passed the House. Have you?

  87. Jimmy Haigh says:

    Alan the Brit (09:55:43) :
    Ron de Haan:-)

    Can I third the motion?

    Personally I think Obama is way out of his depth. America, and the rest of the sane world, needs a better leader.

    (Moderators: If this is too near the political bone, please snip as necessary.)

  88. timetochooseagain says:

    Joel Shore seems to think that “reducing our perturbation” by “reducing CO2 emissions” “makes sense”-nothing could be further from the truth. Our modern society is dependent on energy, and there is no current viable alternative to CO2 emitting sources. No amount of nonsense can change the fact that there is nothing at all “prudent” about reducing CO2 emissions. The whole idea is to reduce climate change, but climate change will continue to happen whatever we do, even by his arguments-the only difference will be our ability to adapt to inevitable changes, which will be greatly reduced in his idiotic idea of educing emissions.

    You know, it is one thing to spread nonsense defenses of the “consensus” in areas of science where you think you know a thing or two, but your grasp of economics appears to be ludicrously flimsy, and I advise you to stuff it and stop embarrassing yourself.

  89. David Porter says:

    Colin Porter (08:15:30) :

    I’m afraid brother that Joel Shore and “the greens” are one and the same. Hence the problem.

  90. Mike M says:

    Though several have touched on it indirectly, the remaining question to Richard S. Courtney concerns this notion of his that our only worry about ‘climate change’ is global warming. No sir, climate change is what has happened since earth began and it has gone BOTH ways. Given a choice between 5 degrees C warmer or 5C degrees cooler – I’LL TAKE WARMER! But that’s only my personal opinion based on the historic data that warming provides more food and and there is less disease, etc.

    So what about cooling? Is there a way to make clouds go away and, if doing that doesn’t provide enough extra warmth to stop an ice age, (assuming we manage to survive without rainfall) – then what?

  91. Adam Gallon says:

    “Politicians have been responding to the failure of the Kyoto Protocol by showing they are ‘doing something’”
    And herein lies the problem!
    Politicians always need to be seen to be “Doing Something”, I can’t remember a UK election, where a party said “If we’re elected, we’ll scrap the following laws……….”
    The good news is, that since the majority of the electorate have realised that temperatures haven’t risen since 1998, the chances of further legislation being rammed through are poor.
    Even our own Government has admitted that motoring taxes are primarily to raise revenue.
    one thing that you can be sure of, is once politicians decide that they’re aren’t any votes to be gained from standing “Against Climate Change”, then they’ll be hanging out the likes of Hanson & Schmidt to dry!

  92. Vincent says:

    I have been wondering whether policy makers are indeed considering engineering solutions. I became suspicious as soon as the G7 suddenly changed tack from CO2 emissions to limiting temperature anomalies to 2C. The reason is not difficult to fathom. The awful truth has dawned upon them. No amount of cap & trades, home insulation and changing light bulbs is going to have a snowflakes chance in hell of reducing emissions. Are they going to destroy their countries while the BRIC economies surge ahead? I don’t think so. Just wait and see. Whether Waxman Markey gets passed or not is irrelevant because it won’t result in any emission cuts whatsover. So we get to Copenhagen in December, and I bet it will be smuggled in as plan B. Eventually, the cap & trade will be just some other tax that we have to pay while emissions continue to rise. Then plan B will become plan A.

  93. Richard S Courtney says:

    Friends:

    I am away from base with limited web access so this response to your discussion must be brief. Sorry.

    I am disappointed that so few of the commentators here actually read what I wrote but felt the need to comment on something else.

    Sunsettommy repeatedly tried to point out what my essay actually says but he too was ignored.

    I am not suggesting that the geo-engineering be adopted. Indeed, my essay says;
    “Indeed, there would be no need to deploy the counter measures unless and until global temperature rises to near the trigger of 2 degrees C rise.”

    I am content with that because I am confident mean global temperature will not rise to that level for decades and probably not at all. I anticipate the AGW-scare will have faded away by then as previous scares have (few remember ‘acid rain’ unless reminded of it).

    And I did not choose the trigger of 2 degrees C rise. As my essay says;
    “Politicians have decided how much additional climate change is acceptable, because they have decided that global temperature must not be allowed to rise to 2 degrees Celsius higher than it was at the start of the last century.”

    Furthermore, I have no fear of unintended consequences because
    (a) the geo-engineering is very unlikely to be needed, and
    (b) it could be started and stopped very rapidly (sulphates rain out in under three weeks), and
    (c) development trials are the suggested action for politicians to be seen to have adopted.

    The claims that we should continue to ask politicians to do nothing are naïve and plain dumb. The reason that has not worked is because the politicians have to be seen to be doing something in response to Green lobbying. It does not matter if the politicians are doing something, but they would lose their jobs if they were not seen to be doing something.

    Saying there is not a problem that science can see ignores the fact that the politicians can see a problem they have to be seen to be addressing.

    My essay attempts to overcome the political problem. Perhaps those who have commented on what my essay is not about would care to suggest another way to overcome that problem?

    Richard

  94. Steven Hill says:

    I expect this to be the next bill in Congress, Whitehouse wants Climate Control bill passed. LOL Obama wants to control the climate, woohoo, what power!

    Sun Control bill is next

    Bunch of clowns, that’s all we have now in Washington.

  95. Joel Shore says:

    timetochooseagain:

    Our modern society is dependent on energy, and there is no current viable alternative to CO2 emitting sources.

    To the extent to which your statement is true (which I will get back to), the reason there are not current viable alternates is because the market is sort of fussy about solving problems that it doesn’t know exist. And, as long as the costs of CO2 emissions are not borne by the sellers or buyers of the products, the market does not know that the problem exists. It is a classic free-loading problem.

    And, I don’t think your statement is really that true anyway. It is true that there is no single “silver bullet” to solving the emissions problem, but there are many different available technologies that, taken together, can likely solve the problem for the next 50 years (see, for example, http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/305/5686/968 )…and there is likely to be much more developed once cap-and-trade or carbon taxes put the market incentives in place.

    I think it is most helpful for the libertarian / free market types to recognize this if they simply substitute a different scenario for the one being contemplated: Imagine that instead of the current climate crisis, it turned out that there was simply much less coal, oil, and natural gas than there actually is. Would these same people be claiming that we are economically-doomed? I don’t think so. Instead, they would be extolling the virtues of human ingenuity as expressed through the market system in finding substitutes!

    In reality, the only fundamental difference that I see between this scenario and the one we actually face is that the current case has the additional flexibility that we don’t even have to wean ourselves off of the fossil fuels to the extent that we are able and willing to capture and permanently sequester the CO2.

  96. Leland Palmer says:

    Hi all-

    Geoengineering approaches in general have serious problems, although there is one solution, “carbon negative” production of electricity, that is often lumped in with geoengineering, that I favor.

    Changing the albedo of the earth does very little to stop acidification of the oceans, for example.

    I don’t think we are smart enough to add another factor to an expanding series of vicious cycle positive feedbacks, and so bring it under control.

    The thing to do, of course, is to get as much carbon out of the system as possible and put it back underground, and then allow the climate system to heal itself. A concept combining biomass fuel with carbon capture and storage underground is capable of doing this.

    http://www.etsap.org/worksh_6_2003/2003P_read.pdf

    Bio-Energy with Carbon Storage (BECS):
    a Sequential Decision Approach to the threat of Abrupt Climate Change

    Peter Read and Jonathan Lermit

    Abrupt Climate Change (ACC – NAS, 2001) is an issue that ‘haunts the climate change problem’ (IPCC, 2001) but has been neglected by policy makers up to now, maybe for want of practicable measures for effective response, save for risky geo-engineering. A portfolio of Bio-Energy with Carbon Storage (BECS) technologies, yielding negative emissions energy, may be seen as benign, lowrisk, geo-engineering that is the key to being prepared for ACC. The nature of sequential decisions, taken in response to the evolution of currently unknown events, is discussed. The impact of such decisions on land use change is related to a specific bio-energy conversion technology. The effects of a precautionary strategy, possibly leading to eventual land use change on a large scale, is modeled, using FLAMES. Under strong assumptions appropriate to imminent ACC [abrupt climate change-LP], pre-industrial CO2 levels can be restored by mid-century using BECS.

    The best way to stop global warming, IMO, is to transform every coal fired power plant on the planet to a “carbon negative” power plant, that combines biomass or biochar fuel with carbon capture and storage. There are existing advanced power plant designs incorporating oxyfuel combustion with a “topping cycle” that are capable of compensating for the cost of CCS with increased efficiency:

    EERC Technology Greatly Improves Power Plant Efficiency

    March 26, 2004

    GRAND FORKS, ND -Researchers at the University of North Dakota (UND) Energy & Environmental Research Center (EERC) say they have made major strides to improve the efficiency and dramatically reduce emissions of coal-fired power plants by burning a combination of pure oxygen and coal to generate electricity in an advanced power system. The material used in the system is the same alloy used to make F-16 fighter jet engines, and it is the first time it has been used in a coal-fired power system.

    In a demonstration project conducted at the EERC, a natural gas- and coal-fired system was used to test a very-high-temperature heat exchanger, which is the heart of an advanced high-efficiency power plant-otherwise known as an indirectly fired combined cycle (IFCC). It could hypothetically have no emissions whatsoever.

    “Results of previous demonstrations while firing with air prove that the efficiency of a power plant using this technology could improve by about 30%, resulting in cheaper, cleaner energy,” says EERC Senior Research Manager John Hurley.

    Most coal fired power plants are located on rivers for cooling water. All of the land upstream of the power plant on these major rivers becomes a potential natural biomass and biochar collection network for biomass or biochar fuel floated down the rivers. Biomass could be burned in these converted coal fired power plants, transferring carbon back underground.

    Deep saline aquifers underlie most of the country, capable of storing the captured CO2. It’s starting to look like porous “pillow” basalt rock, which underlies many geological regions including the Juan de Fuca plate off the Pacific Northwest, appear capable of chemically transforming CO2 into carbonate rocks.

    Climate engineering is not the way to go, I think. We are not smart enough to sucessfully inject a new factor into an extremely complex situation that is spiraling out of control.

    We need to put the CO2 back underground, no matter what the cost. Combining biomass fuel sources with CCS allows us to do that.

    Don’t inject any new factors into a situation already spiraling out of control.

    “Put the genie back in the bottle” instead, and allow the Earth’s climate system to heal itself.

  97. anna v says:

    Joel Shore (19:43:48) :

    I think it is most helpful for the libertarian / free market types to recognize this if they simply substitute a different scenario for the one being contemplated: Imagine that instead of the current climate crisis, it turned out that there was simply much less coal, oil, and natural gas than there actually is. Would these same people be claiming that we are economically-doomed? I don’t think so. Instead, they would be extolling the virtues of human ingenuity as expressed through the market system in finding substitutes!

    In reality, the only fundamental difference that I see between this scenario and the one we actually face is that the current case has the additional flexibility that we don’t even have to wean ourselves off of the fossil fuels to the extent that we are able and willing to capture and permanently sequester the CO2.

    You seem to be saying that the ends justify the means, as all AGW supporters do.
    Neither cap and trade nor taxation nor sequestration will work in bringing the temperature down. Even if one believes the @#$% IPCC models all these schemes might slightly reduce the temperature in 100 years, not enough to stop anything catastrophic, if a catastrophe were in the charts. China and India will not play ball.

    The end result will be the end of western civilization with the economic and technological vitality centered on India and China due to the impoverishment of the taxed and pyramid schemed ( cap and trade) western citizens and the judicious outsourcing of whatever industries are left also to India and China.

    Well done, AGWs . I hope you are taking intensive Chinese.

  98. Badger says:

    CO2 is not an issue. We have 380 ppm of it in the atmosphere, that is such a low concentration that it can’t do anything. There is no “emission problem” when it comes to CO2. You think our 380 ppm are bad (that’s 3 out of 10,000 by the way)? Try Venus, with more than 60% CO2 (and being a lot closer to the sun, too.)

    Take the infamous experiment with the glass container, a human and a heat vision camera. Oh yes, the CO2 in the container will eventually “filter out” the heat signature of the human. Sure. Once you start reaching 60, 70, 80, 90 and even 100% CO2 in the container. But with our CO2 concetration? Nothing happens. It’s so small that it’s completely insignificant.

    Consider this: mankind produces 1% of all the CO2 that insects produce by breathing alone (and that is only if we assume that all insects are as small as a drosophila fly, which they clearly are not, thus insects actually produce even more CO2.)

    Or, even simpler:
    Weight of atmosphere: 5.3×10^15 tons
    CO2 in atmosphere: 0.035% (1.8×10^12 tons)
    Mankind produces 7 billion tons CO2 = 7×10^9
    Which are: 0.377% of the CO2 in the atmosphere.

    Or, while I’m at it:

    Bear with me now. Here come a few examples of what procues how much CO2:

    Humans:

    Number of humans 2003 globally: ~6.1 x 10^9 humans

    About 15 liters CO2/hour (physiology textbooks) with 6×10^9 humans

    = 1.54 x 10^9 tons CO2/year

    Cows:

    Ammount globalöy = 1.3 x 10^9 (1999)

    600 liters breath/hour (grazing), 4% of that are CO2 = 24 liters/hour

    = 5.36 x 10^8 tons CO2/year

    Pigs:

    number of pigs = 904 x 10^6

    180 liter breath/hour, again are 4% CO2 = 7,1 liters/hour

    = 1.1 x 10^8 Tonnen CO2/year globally

    Sheep:

    number of sheep: 1.06 x 10^9 (2000)

    360 L/h breath, of which are 4% CO2 = 14.4 liters/hour

    = 2.62 x 10^8 tons of CO2/year

    All countet together = 2.45 x 10^9 tons CO2/year

    Which are 10% of the CO2 mankind produces. Which makes that… 0.1% of the CO2 insects produce.

    Oh and organisms in the ground in Germany produce:
    7.79 x 10^8 tons/year

    Traffic in Germany produces:
    1.7 x 10^8 tons/year

    Thus organisms in the ground in Germany (both farming and forest) produce 4.6 times more CO2 than human traffic.

    Those are simple calculations based on physiology textbooks and official population numbers.

    As for the “hot spots”:
    Let’s assume the sun heats up Earth and Earth reflects energy of 360 Watts per square meter (W/m²) into the atmosphere. In 6,000 meter altitude you’d receive 36 Watts. If this would be reflected (which it can’t, 2nd law of thermodynnamics prohibits this), you’d get a whole 0.27 Watts back on Earth. Not really an impressive number, is it?

    CO2 is also important for life. Without CO2 there wouldn’t be any life on this planet. Plants need CO2. And with photosynthesis they create O2. And without O2 humans wouldn’t exist.

    Conclusion can only be: CO2 is not an issue, definitely not.

  99. Richard S Courtney says:

    Friends:

    Is it really too much for me to ask people to discuss what my essay is about?

    It does not matter whether or not CO2 is an issue for climate because politicians have accepted that it is, and they cannot be seen to have changed their minds.

    It does not matter whether or not people have the opinion that climate mitigation by geo-engineering will work or not. Only experiment and demonstration will prove that.

    But it does matter that politicians are being forced to take harmful actions because they have accepted that CO2 is an issue for climate, and scaremongers are demanding that politicians take harmful actions on that basis.

    No comment above – not one – has stated any flaw in my argument in my essay.
    And no comment above – not one – has stated any flaw in my proposed policy option to remove the politicians’ need to adopt the harmful policies they are now applying.

    If the commentators can see any such flaw in my argument then why have they not stated it?
    And why have they not stated better alternative policy options than my suggestion if they can think of them?

    Importantly, why are so many people wanting to talk about related issues and not the subject of my essay? Is it because they think I am right and they want to deflect consideration of what my essay says?

    Richard

  100. Alan the Brit says:

    I wholly endorse Richard’s thread here. It’s about giving the little darlings the ladder out of the pit they have dug themselves. It is always a good idea to keep ones enemies closer, & hopefully they will be grateful for the helping hand preventing them from making themselves look more useless than they actually are! That bog on Dartmoor is very big you know!

    AtB

  101. Colin says:

    Richard, your essay is interesting, but there are additional elements in the process of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol that you should consider. The principal one is international trade and competitiveness. Understand that the KP is not an environmental treaty; it is a trade treaty intended to create two supposedly beneficial effects, the first being a binding agreement on CO2 emissions and the second being increased North-South cash flows. This isn’t new; it flows straight from Agenda 21 and the Rio Conference, and the Brundtland Commission before it.

    A significant driver in the KP negotiations is industrial and trade competitiveness. Both of these have been declining in the EU relative to the US and China for more than 20 years. An overt part of the EU trade policy was to use restrictions imposed by the Protocol as a way of restraining this relative trade advantage. Delegation members openly discussed it during the COP meetings in the early 2000s leading up to COP 5.

    Over the years, since 1997, the EU has continued to lose ground, and its industrial base has continued to atrophy. There is just as much pressure today to secure a binding deal as there was 10 years ago. In short, Kyoto is not just about carbon dioxide, it’s about trade and competitiveness, and unless you consider these aspects, nothing done or said during the UNFCCC conferences or the G-8 makes any sense. The principal difference between then and now is that the EU is no longer governed by a series of Red-Green coalition governments. The US is.

  102. Joel Shore says:

    Badger,

    Frankly, from a scientific point-of-view, your whole post is nonsense. The atmospheric concentration of CO2 may not be very high, but the path length through the atmosphere is long. In fact, many “skeptics” actually argue the opposite point that you make…i.e., they claim the absorption bands for CO2 are already saturated and hence additional CO2 doesn’t have more effect. This argument is also wrong, although for somewhat subtler reasons than yours is wrong. (Their argument does basically explain why the dependence of radiative forcing on CO2 concentration is approximately logarithmic rather than linear.)

    As for all your calculations of CO2 emissions from breathing: There are large exchanges of CO2 between the atmosphere, biosphere, and oceans. However, these exchanges are very different than taking a source of carbon that has been locked away from the atmosphere for millions of years and rapidly liberating it. And, this is why the CO2 levels have shot up to 385ppm since the industrial revolution whereas they hadn’t been above ~300ppm over the last 750,000 years (over which we have ice core data) and likely many millions of years, despite the fact that there were plenty of animals living and breathing during that entire time period.

    Finally, I have no clue how you calculated your 36 W number…and you are wrong if you mean to imply that the CO2 greenhouse effect violates the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Gerlich and Tscheuschner, the two who have claimed this in one of the most embarrassing papers ever to see the light of day in a (3rd-rate) physics journal, are either clueless or intentionally deceptive in making such a claim. One can demonstrate that all the heat flows in the atmosphere are from hotter to colder and that, nonetheless, the Earth is warmer than it would be in the absence of an IR-active atmosphere. (The basic point is that in the absence of such an atmosphere, all the heat radiated by the earth would escape to space, so the fact that any of it finds its way back to the Earth when the atmosphere absorbs such radiation means the earth is then warmer than it would be otherwise. However, there is still more heat transferred from the Earth to the atmosphere than vice versa.)

  103. Richard S Courtney says:

    Colin:

    Thankyou very much and most sincerely. I was starting to despair that anybody would address the issues raised by my essay. You have.

    You make good points, and – as you say – my essay does not address them.

    The AGW-scare is not about science. It would have gone in the trash can long ago if it were a scientific issue.

    The AGW-scare is about money. Nationally it is about tax, and internationally it is about trade.

    In my opinion, if national governments can be given the means to back-off from the AGW-scare then the trade issues will cease to exist. Of course, my opinion could be wrong but I see no method to prove the matter either way.

    At present, all the problems are being manifested nationally; e.g. distorted energy, economic, financial, industrial, and aid policies. Some of the distortions are severe, expensive and harmful. Imposition of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), and immense subsidies to windfarms are obvious effects.

    So, I am arguing that at this stage we need to address national politicians. And that is the substance of my essay. But your message implies that the international politics need to be engaged first. Of course, you could be right although I can see no method to do that. If you have suggestions for how to directly address the international issues then I would like to hear them.

    Anyway, I am grateful for your challenge of my argument. You seem to not agree with my argument but you have demonstrated that you have considered it. And I thank you for that because few others here seem to have considered it.

    Richard

  104. Richard S Courtney says:

    Alan the Brit:

    Thankyou. I think it must be obvious why I appreciate that.

    Richard

  105. Roger Sowell says:

    to Joel Shore and others who would like a demonstration of the effect of clouds and humidity: Southern California this weekend (August 21 – 23) is having an influx of humid air from the south, which is anticipated to bring some rain but also 5 degrees increase in daytime maximum temperatures and night-time minimum temperatures.

    It is anticipated that the CO2 concentration will remain roughly the same, however.

    It is not the CO2. Focus on the target: water vapor.

  106. will says:

    “Climate change is a serious problem. ….But now it is feared that emissions from industry could cause additional climate change ”

    so it is a serious problem because it is feared?

    so fear is the problem that needs to be addressed?

    and the hysteria from the faux climate science cabal helps this how?

  107. will says:

    “Politicians know they need to be seen to be ‘doing something’ and they would be seen to be doing something worthwhile…”

    problem is, no matter what they do it will not satisfy the deep Green zealots

  108. will says:

    Jeff L says:
    The base assumption in this paper is wrong – that the goal is to control the climate. What has been seen & proven over the last several years is the REAL goal is increased government control over people.

    Joel Shore says (19:41:26) :
    So, are you saying this is the united goal of most of the climate science community, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences & analogous bodies in all the other G8+5 nations, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the councils of most major scientific societies like the AGU, the AMS, and the APS? How exactly did they all get together to agree on this strategy?

    Will says:
    There are many motives in this saga and fraud.

    There is ego and vanity.

    There are carpetbaggers after money.

    There is a left wing meme that sees the developed world enjoying prosperity and the third world in “poverty” caused by “unfair trade’ and ‘globisation’.

    It is a ‘social justice’ strategy behind a lot of activism to rip money from the first world and give it to the third. AGW is a perfect excuse.

    The reality that doing this will just make the poverty worse, and contribute to corruption and the highly unequal distribution of wealth in third world societies, is beyond their belief structure.

    It is all about hate and punishment.

  109. DaveE says:

    will (15:40:01) :

    The reality that doing this will just make the poverty worse, and contribute to corruption and the highly unequal distribution of wealth in third world societies, is beyond their belief structure.

    It is all about hate and punishment.

    Totally correct.

    As I have said before. Socialism is a philosophy of envy.

    All socialism does is bring all but the richest down to the same abysmal level, never raising the poor.

    DaveE.

Comments are closed.